red cross

Bring on the rain!

I have a thing for old movies. Forget the remakes of recent years, I love the originals.

White Christmas is by far my all-time favorite movie. I’m sure I’ll blog about it at some point. But there’s another movie I should tell you about: The Rainmaker.

So here’s the background, in case you don’t enjoy “vintage movies” (via Wikipedia):

“During the Depression era in the Midwest, con man Bill Starbuck acts as a rainmaker, but is chased out of town after town. One day, he arrives in a drought-ridden rural town in Kansas and showed up at the door of spinsterish Lizzie Curry and the rest of the Curry clan. Lizzie keeps house for her father, H.C., and two brothers on the family cattle ranch. As their farm languishes under the devastating drought, Lizzie’s family worries about her marriage prospects more than about their dying cattle. Prior to Starbuck’s arrival, Lizzie was expecting Sheriff File, for whom she harbors a secret yen, though he declined the family’s invitation to dinner. Starbuck promises to bring rain in exchange for $100. Against Lizzie’s protests, H.C. goes for the deal out of desperation for rain even though he thinks Starbuck is a con.”

Why am I telling you this, you ask?

Because Super Dad and I have a thing for major life experiences and weather. We’re a little like the real-life Bill Starbuck – combo package.

What I mean is: The National Weather Service and the Red Cross should be nervous when we have anything significant happen in our lives. I bet if you made a scatter plot, you’d find a correlation between insane weather and every major life event since we’ve been married. Let’s take a look at the data.

Case Study 1: Our honeymoon

Getting married is considered a major life event – that is, unless you’re Britney Spears and the year is 2004.

But for us, I said “I do” to the love of my life, and we started this crazy, fun and sometimes dramatic journey.

I handled the wedding plans for the most part (go figure), so I left it up to my love to plan the honeymoon. About two weeks before wedding he said, “I think I should tell you where we’re going so you know what to pack.”


The beaches. The sun. The hiking. The whale watching.

We were going to do it all.

But Mother Nature had other plans.

According to this article, “Nearly 92 inches — or about 7 1/2 feet — of rain were recorded during March at Mount Waialeale, considered the rainiest spot on the planet. The previous record was about 90 inches in April 1971, according to the National Weather Service.

Even the normally dry Honolulu Airport received more rain in the first three months of 2006 than in all of 2005.

The near-biblical downfall left the islands disheveled with debris, flooded homes, and led to a sewage spill in the water off Waikiki.

The largest toll was taken on Kauai, where seven died when a century-old earthen dam strained by the heavy rains burst March 14 sending a wall of water crashing through homes to the sea.

Last week, a sewer line broke when it was overwhelmed by heavy rain and sent some 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the ocean.”

Anyone want to guess which islands our honeymoon consisted of? Honolulu and Kauai.

At dinner one night, we met a man who lived his entire life on the island of Kauai. He told us, “In the last 90 years, this is the first time I’ve ever seen lightning.”

You’re welcome, Hawaii. I blame us.

So we still did the beaches, the sun, the hiking, the whale watching, and a somewhat life-shortening helicopter ride. And we had a blast – minus the part where our helicopter almost dropped out of the sky.

And since we had just gotten married, we didn’t even realize this would be “our thing.”


Case Study 2: Every other vacation for years

We went to Europe, New York, California, Florida, North Carolina… Every where we traveled to, rain followed.

And by rain, I mean torrential downpour and/or hurricanes.

Then, we started to notice a trend.


Case Study 3: The birth of K

Let’s just say it was called the “Snowpacalypse” and the Super Bowl sucked. For the full labor-inducing story, go here.


Case Study 3: The birth of M

I know you’re thinking, “You had a baby in a ‘Snowpacalypse’. Surely the next time was drama-free.” You are wrong, my friend. This one was called “Icemageddon.” And you can read the whole shindig here.


Case study 4: We built a house

We were ready for a real commitment, and the next level of home ownership: We decided to build a house.

And this happened:

When we moved in, we had the “fourth highest snow total for the month of March in Dallas-Fort Worth area, with 3.4 inches recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport; another tenth of an inch was recorded early Thursday morning, putting the official total at 3.5 inches.”

Sigh. I can’t even make this stuff up.

So, if you need freakish weather, call us.

Snow on a hill in our backyard. There may be sledding in our immediate future.
Snow on a hill in our backyard the weekend we moved in.

Sleeves Up. Hearts Open. All In. Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later

On anniversaries of national-scale events, people always talk about where they were, what was going on in their lives. Today is the same.

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall and changed the Gulf Coast as we knew it. As a North Texan, we watched with tears in our eyes as homes and people were swept away by the storm. We took in those who were left with nothing – many never went back.

Photo Credit: money.howstuffworks.com
Photo Credit: money.howstuffworks.com

When it happened, I was visiting my dad in Raleigh, NC. He was the regional VP for the American Red Cross at the time. As you can imagine, he was busy coordinating help for the disaster.

Both of my parents have been avid volunteers. It’s been ingrained in my existence. They always made me feel like I could save the world; and it’s my duty to give back for all the wonderful things I’ve had in life. They’ve always been right.

So, I rolled my sleeves up, opened my heart, jumped in and took calls from those who wanted to help or needed help.

It was before the days of disaster operations via social media, otherwise I would have been tweeting with the best of them. But, in some small way, I had the privilege of helping to make a difference.

The funny thing is: A decade later, I work for a nonprofit. I’ve never been able to get “doing good” out of my system.

It’s something I hope to instill in my children. It’s not always the big things, sometimes the small things can make a difference in people’s lives.

Kindness with no expectation of reciprocation is the best gift. Always.


I’d like to share a post from a friend of mine and Red Crosser, Anita Foster, as she remembers Hurricane Katrina. Much has changed, and we have much to look forward to.

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